Month: November 2009

Things I think are funny addition

So earlier this year I did a post on things I think are funny.  I mentioned in the post an episode from the Mary Tyler Moore Show that I liked called Chuckles Bites the Dust.  In that entry I gave the following description:

The plot is about the TV station’s clown Chuckles who dies from being stomped on by an elephant after wearing a peanut outfit in a parade.  Because of the odd death of the clown everyone at the newsroom laughs and cracks jokes except Mary.  She stays serious until the funeral.  While listening to the eulogy Mary gets the giggles and everyone can’t believe her rudeness.  The more she tries to hold it in the worse it is.  Here is the eulogy that gets her going:

“Chuckles the Clown brought pleasure to millions. The characters he created will be remembered by children and adults alike: Peter Peanut, Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo, Billy Banana, and my particular favorite, Aunt Yoo Hoo. And not just for the laughter they provided—there was always some deeper meaning to whatever Chuckles did. Remember Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo’s little catch phrase? Remember how, when his arch rival Señor Caboom hit him with a giant cucumber and knocked him down, Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo would always pick himself up, dust himself off, and say, ‘I hurt my foo-foo’? Life’s a lot like that. From time to time we all fall down and hurt our foo-foos. If only we could deal with it as simply and bravely and honestly as Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo. And what did Chuckles ask in return? Not much. In his own words, ‘A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.’”

I have had many times when I get the giggles and am about to pee my pants with laughing.  One time on my mission this lady started playing the piano super loud, in a rather vitriolic fashion- so much so that it made our cute little Chinese investigator jump about a foot in the air.  For some reason it made me start to laugh and finally I had to grab my companion and leave to the restroom.  Doesn’t everyone have those moments?  That’s what makes the episode so relatable.

 

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Things I am Thankful for Part II

So last Thanksgiving I posted 25 things I am thankful for– a list enompssing all of the easy gratitudes including family, friends, music, work, my apartment and more.  I have decided to make this  a tradition, so each year it will get increasingly difficult but hopefully more meaningful as well.  To aid in this endeavour I have also been posting a “Today I am thankful for..” facebook status each day for the last month or so.  Here goes!

 

I am grateful for…

1. Anna being in Utah.  We have spent a ton of time together and I’ve enjoyed all of it!

2. Festival of Trees- I love the opportunity I’ve had this year to volunteer.

3. Visits from and with friends- this year I have been able to see Raelene, Emily (3 times!), Julia and Camille to name a few.

4. Visiting teachers- Mine come and it is great!

5. Hot tubs. Nothing more relaxing.

6. Creative movies- this year has been particularly rich with Up, 500 days of summer, and Where the Wild things Are.

7. Literacy- I can’t contemplate a life without reading.

8. My computer- sometimes I feel glued to it but its hard to imagine life without it.

9. Great teachers- I had some fantastic ones growing up and in college.

10. Financial security with an uncertain time.

11. Priesthood blessings. It is a power that is so comforting.

12. Greek and Icelandic yogurt. Delicious, creamy and low in calories.

13. Cute accessories- I love making an outfit special.

14. My Madame Alexander doll collection.

15. Reality Television- I know it is scripted and ridiculous but I still enjoy it.  Particularly Project Runway.

16. Great Roommates- I have been blessed this year with Sunnie and Jenni.

17. A perfect starry sky. Now I just need to find someone to share it with!

18. Successful parties.  I have had enough bad ones to be grateful for the ones that work!

19.  Board games- favorites are Cranium, Scategories, Scrabble and Boggle.

20. Flu shots and antibacterial gel/lotion.  I hate being sick!

21. Loving Grandparents that I have had the privilege of spending time with and knowing.

22.  My cousins- particularly the ones I am closest too.  My parents always made it a priority for us to spend time together.

23.  The Ocean.  I will live by the ocean sometime in my life.

24.  The Prophet- President Thomas S. Monson.

25. Temple covenants and the comfort of knowing I will be with my family forever.

 

There are so many blessings I can’t begin to list them all.  Next year I am sure I will have a whole new set!  I love you all and am thankful for your support this year.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Murtaugh List and Regina Spektor

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So last week I went to a Regina Spektor concert.  She is a very talented singer born in Russia who fits well into the indie female folksy genre that is so popular.  She is similar to Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, and Missy Higgins.  In fact, in some ways I like her better because she is edgy and daring with melodies and arrangements.  On the other hand, sometimes I don’t get her style- she’s too edgy for me! Her song Fidelity is featured in a Target ad right now and her songs Us and Hero were on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack.

Being fans, Anna and I were naturally excited to be attending her concert in Salt Lake.  It was kind of a crazy weekend for me.  I went to the Regina concert Friday night and then Saturday drove down to St. George for my friend Bonnie’s wedding.  I was exhausted by the time Sunday came around! Thanks to Anna for coming with me to the concert and to St.  George.  She was such a great help to me, and it was a big sacrifice for her. I love you!

Anyway, Friday we went to the concert- Anna, her roommate Becca and myself.  Before the concert we ate at the Pie up by the University of Utah (I know enemy territory!).  It is the best pizza I have had outside of New York.  You don’t even need any toppings. It’s delicious!  After dinner we drove to the concert.  It was at a club called In the Venue that is standing room only.  It is the same place we went for the Ingrid Michelson concert but this time it was even more crowded.  Plus, we arrived early so that added another hour to the standing.   By the time Regina’s opening act was finished (btw the opening act was thoroughly lame…in the grand tradition of opening acts) I was already exhausted.  It was a mosh pit with hardly room to move.  To make matters worse, even though I was up front I was in a place where the grand piano blocked any view of Regina.  No matter how I tried to crane my neck I couldn’t see anything but her legs on the pedals.  This seemed like a lot to put up with for a pair of legs!

Finally the crowd made me feel nauseated and I was getting overheated.  I bravely began to make my way through the crowd.  I basically became a human plow trying to find my way to the back.  Along the way I pushed many a young kid and even had some rude comments.  One woman said “I was standing there first and thanks for stepping on my toes”.  I felt like saying “I beg your pardon mademoiselle.  I am sorry I didn’t ask your permission to step on you in a MOSH PIT!”.  Rude!   Finally I made my way back and wolfed down a Gatorade for $4.  It was then that I realized “I’m too old for this stuff”.

Murtaugh List

I’m too old for moshing it at standing room only concerts. I’m too old for road trips with little sleep.  I’m too old for Motel 6’s with lame, scratchy sheets.    I’m too old for nothing but pizza and root beer for dinner.  I need some nutrients!  I’m too old for skipping 2 meals and then binging on a huge dinner.  I’m too old for giant ice cream Sundays and anything with the words “extreme sour” in it.  I’m too old for trendy clothes, head banging music, tantrums, sleeping  in past 9, wearing t-shirts with “funny” sayings, practical jokes, big wads of bubble gum, prank phone calls, cartoon network, teeny bopper music, any kind of eating contest, glitter, costumes for no purpose, camping for “fun”, sleeping on the floor, watching the Hills or America’s Next Top Model, all-nighters, selling my blood, cosmic anything, group sports of any kind (especially dodge ball), Weird Al anything, Chef Boyardee, lame car games, ice skating and dancing to impress a boy (what was I thinking!), eating fake cheese, pop tarts, ramen noodles and most prepackaged foods,  flirting to impress a boy, anything in a “fun land/arcade”, and petty fights with friends.  The list goes on.

Basically I’m too old to be doing things that aren’t genuinely me.  I am too old to be playing a part or trying to fit in. I am not saying I have to be completely selfish but when you are young you go along for the ride easier.  Now I would be more likely to express my feelings and then agree to what others want to do. I remember going to concerts at the Velor in Provo.  It is loud, crowded, and miserable.  The music isn’t my taste and you know why I was there- to impress a boy.  I am too old for that kind of stuff.   If  I do  end up doing something on my Murtaugh list expect me to feel tired, even exhausted and grumpy.  I will try my best but no guarantees!

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If you are wondering about the title of my entry, the Murtaugh list comes from an episode of my favorite show How I Met Your Mother where Ted makes a list of the things he’s too old for.  These include going to raves, sleeping on futons, piercing your ears, and laser tag. Then Barnie and Ted have a challenge where Barnie attempts to do all the things on the Murtaugh list and Ted does a list of  stuff old people do like go to bed at 8 and eat at 4.  It’s pretty funny.

The other unfortunate thing about the Regina concert is she had a foul mouth.  It was too bad because her music is beautiful.  I don’t know why women feel they have to  be so ugly and unseemly.  It makes me sad.

Favorite Movies of The Decade

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So I was watching At the Movies and they are doing a series of their “Top Ten Movies of the Decade”.  This week they put their 10th and 9th selections. Ironically of the 4 movies already selected I have only viewed one of them- Million Dollar Baby.  For various reasons I missed the other three.  Million Dollar Baby nearly made my list.  If it wasn’t for the ending.

Ever since I started my blog I’ve wanted to do an entry on my favorite movies.   One of my most popular postings was in May of last year called Music Galore.  It has had over double the hits of any other post.  My entries on comedy, theater and books have also been popular. Many times I began writing a similar entry on movies- but the topic proved too daunting each time.  There are just too many to choose from! Seeing the more narrow “Top Ten of the Decade” concept, I thought I would take another stab at a list of just my favorite recent movies.

First of all, let me explain what I love about the movies.  I would say 90% of the time I go to the movies to be entertained.  Some of my choices may not be the most educational or even uplifting films but they did entertain me.  This does not mean they are all comedies.  In fact, of my top 13 (ok I couldn’t narrow it down to 10!) 5 could be considered comedies, 2 are musicals, 2 are animated, 1 is a documentary and 2 dramas.   Each of the selected movies has also entertained me multiple times.  Not all movies do.  For example, the Prestige with Hugh Jackman and Christian Slater was enthralling the first time I saw it; however, the second time I didn’t really like it.   The Sixth Sense is another example; although that is not a movie from this decade.

I love the way movies can take me away from life and introduce me to a new world- whether that be a mystical Japanese spirit bath house or a modern-day fashion magazine.  I also appreciate movies that make me think a little bit while being entertained.  I am a particular sucker for movies about work and what we dedicate our lives to.  Having gone through the process of leaving a job I hated, I sympathize with characters that are sucked into workaholism and modern cubicle despair.    This can take the form of a comedy or a more somber drama.  You can see this theme in almost all of my choices-characters who struggle with what to dedicate their life too and who they are inside.  They struggle with how to live- what is the best life?  I enjoy that discovery.

So here goes- the top 13 in no particular order:

1. About a Boy- Touching and funny movie about a near-do-well who learns to be unselfish through befriending a young boy and his mom.

2. Spirited Away- Visually stunning animated film from Hiyao Miyazaki.  I dare you to guess what is coming next.  There is everything from a giant baby, to a paper dragon, to a witch that turns into a bird.  So creative!

3. Enron:  The Smartest Guys in the Room- Fascinating documentary about the rise and fall of Enron.  Amazing how one little rationalization, followed by another, really will lead a man carefully down to Hell.

4. Best in Show- Hilarious mockumentary about the Westminster dog show.  All of Guest’s movies are funny but this is my favorite.  I think because I am not an animal person I find those that are funny.

5. Pixar movies- Ok. I know this is lame but I couldn’t decide.  They are all so great.  Since 2000 Pixar has made Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, the Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Walle and Up.  I especially like how there is no hamming it up to the camera and adult humor like the Shrek movies.  I hate that.

6. Slumdog Millionaire- I’ve never been to India but my aunt and uncle said Slumdog is a reasonably accurate depiction of the slums.  It feels so real while watching.  It is brutal and beautiful at the same time.  My favorite part is how the two lead characters maintain their innocence and love despite the chaos surrounding them.  I’ve seen this movie 4 times and each time I leave feeling inspired and comforted, which is suprising given some of the tough scenes.

7. Hairspray- While I have loved the return of  musicals in the last few years most of them have been on the raunchy side.  Finally Hairspray was the musical I’d been waiting for.  Its  music is catchy and will make you smile.  I just love it.

8. Walk the Line- Even as a conventional bio-pic I enjoy Walk the Line.  I love the music and how it brings June and Johnny Cash together.  Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon are great.  I particularly like the scenes where Johnny goes on the “June Carter love walk” and she turns him down!  Great movie!

9. Devil Wears Prada- Funny and interesting movie about the modern work-world.  I like that Meryl Streep’s character is cruel but honest in her cruelty.  She knows that the fashion business is about making money and that is what is important to her.  Money and fashion are her life and in many ways that is sad. While I do think there can be a balance between career and family, it is tough.  DWP asks how much are we willing to give up for success? How much will we change to achieve it? Plus, there are some great lines like “One more stomach flu and I’ll be at my ideal dress size!”

10. Stranger than Fiction- Another great movie about work.  Will Farrell plays a man who starts hearing a narrator in his head.  This voice describes what he is doing and how he feels about it.  However, it becomes  disturbing when the voice predicts Farrell’s death.  Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson are great.  Wonderful movie that makes you think about your life choices and what a narrator would say about them. Also, would our lives make a good book? If no, is that necessarily a bad thing?

11. Breach- Great suspenseful movie of the undercover operation that brought down Robert Hanson an FBI agent who sold secrets to the Soviets for over 20 years before he was caught.  The acting is top notch- particularly Chris Cooper as the complicated Hanson.  On one hand, we hate him but on another we get a glimpse of why he did it.  He wanted to be smarter than everyone else in the FBI.  He was tired of being marginalized and ignored.  Who can’t relate to that? Very exciting and interesting movie.

12. Dan in Real Life-  A simple movie I love.  It is funny, the kids are great and the story is touching.  It is about a widower played by Steve Carrell who writes a nearly-syndicated  parenting column.  Meanwhile his 3 daughters are all struggling.  I felt I could relate to the family dynamics in the story and again it asks the question- “What are you doing with life? and Why does your life matter?” I also like they kept the family chaos to a realistic non-slapstick level (for the most part at least).

13. Juno- I know the dialogue can be a bit glib, but I don’t care.  Juno is about a high school know-it-all who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption.  It is the most pro-adoption movie I have seen in a long time, and I don’t think it glamorizes teen pregnancy as some have claimed.  Juno learns that she isn’t quite as smart as she once thought and this new humility comes with some hard-taught lessons.

So there it is.  My top movies of the decade.  Maybe there will be something in the next few months as amazing and have to be added to the list.  Hopefully!  I will be curious for your favorites.

Halloween and a Visit from Julia

Over the last few years my friend Julia and I have been exchanging visits.  It is truly the most lovely thing.   I go to Vegas to see her, she comes to SLC to visit me.  These trips have ranged from a weekend to a full week and have been at all different times of the year.  Honestly, is there anything better than a visit from a friend?  I don’t think there is and our visits are no exception.  We usually pack in a lot of activities and experiences but more than that, we just in enjoy being together.  (I’m still trying to convince her to move her…Someday!).

So it is with this history that made me especially delighted when last Sunday Julia called me and said she’d like to make a visit this week.  She asked if it was ok and if she could stay with me!  I was thrilled!  Julia arrived on Thursday and left on Monday, so it was a nice sized trip that was a lot of fun.

I am including some highlight photos below with descriptions.  Saturday was my Halloween party, which was a great success.  There was practically too many people!  We had fun playing wii karaoke, wii sports, Halloween charades and watching It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.  We also had a costume contest with entries as diverse as the Norton salt girl, a ladybug and a football player.  I think everyone who came had a good time.  I certainly did.  It was one of the best parties I have ever hosted alone, which was great because I have had a few duds lately.  I needed a win!  Thanks to all who came and made it fun.  The only funny thing about the party is that nobody ate any food/candy.  It was like a dieters party.  Strange hah? So now I have bags and bags of candy that I suppose I will save and give to the sweet stand at Festival of Trees. Still, it is taunting me until then.  Candy, candy, candy…

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On Friday Julia and I went up to BYU, saw the museum and had lunch with Anna. They had a neat exhibit using mirrors and light.
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Then we did some shopping and Julia looked pretty cute in this hat!
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Then Friday night we went to Buca di Bepo which was a place from our mission. Then we stayed the night in the SLC Radison. In the morning we took the tour of the welfare square. Great time!
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The Halloween party turned out great. Julia was such a help.
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Doesn't the table spread look great! I was so proud.
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This is a new friend Caron who was the Norton Salt girl. She made that jacket. Isn't that impressive?
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Monday we went for a scenic drive to see what's left of the fall color. It was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I really like this picture of me. After the scenic drive we went to Where the Wild Things and loved it. Very creative. What a great weekend!

Does it make all you far away friends want to come out for a visit?  I hope so!  I am always thrilled to have visitors.  Please come!